25. July 2004 · Comments Off on Morning in America · Categories: Politics

This post is a follow-up to my last one where I asked, “Are you safer now than you were three years ago?” If your answer to that question is “yes”, then this isn’t for you. Go…play with a stick or something. For the rest of you, I can’t gurantee anything. That last post was an off-the-cuff thing I did in about ten minutes, so I’m trying to put some thought into this one, which means that it’ll probably suck.

My Dad used to say that nothing was impossible if you put your mind to it. After thirteen years of serving in the Air Force, I know he was right. I’ve been a part of teams who’ve been given seemingly impossible goals to accomplish, only to find that those goals were not impossible at all. Sometimes, I think back on some of those tasks and ask myself, “Wow, how did we do that?” It’s no big secret when you think about it. Teamwork –real teamwork– was the most important element, but I also know that the same common traits were present in every event: Confidence, Motivation, Dedication, Optimism, Focus, and Lack of Defeatist Thinking. I know that these words sound corny and have become cliches, but when you’ve seen it in action and have been a part of it, they seem as natural as wearing an old pair of jeans and a T-shirt.

The reason I bring this up is because one of the reactions to my previous post disturbed me: the possibility of Social Civil War. From what I can tell, a lot of you seem to think that it’s inevitable and are resigned to it. If you truly believe that, then there’s no question that it will happen. It’s a defeatist attitude. When everyone believes that bad things are inevitable, than those things have a way of happening. They are inevitable because you have made them so. Now, most people will say, “It’s not my fault. It’s those dicks over there that are the problem!” I don’t care. There are dicks everywhere. To me, they’re just stepping stones to mission accomplishment, and they make the victory that much sweeter for having been there. You don’t say, “Well, those guys are dicks. So much for that, then.” Unless, of course, you like losing.

All of this is a prologue to main thrust of this post: My ideas for making things better. Man, that sounds rich, don’t it? Another damned blogger who has the cure for all that ails us. I’m here to tell you that I don’t have any good answers. All I have are some ideas. These ideas, however, involve hard work, motivation, dedication, confidence, optimism, focus, and a lack of defeatist thinking. If that’s not your style, then you might as well stop reading. This isn’t for you.

Since this is starting to get a little long, what I’m going to do is give you a preview of some of the posts that I’ll be working on. Each will focus on different elements in support of the main focus: What you can do to make America safer.


Are you more concerned with what Sandy Berger stuffed into his pants or do you want to win a war? Do you want to help pass a gay marriage amendment or do you want to help make positive changes to this nation’s security that go beyond street theater? Do you think debates about flag burning are more important than serious debates about the course of the war? You have to figure out what your priorities are before you can do anything else. For some of you, your concerns may involve all of those things listed above, but you can’t devote full focus to all of them. You have to prioritize them, and then ignore that which distracts you from your purpose. If your main priority is winning the war on terrorism, then just how important is Joe Wilson? Joe Wilson lied. Great. What are Congress and the President doing about the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission? How effective has the Homeland Security Administration been in fulfilling its mandate? If the GWOT is your Priority #1, then you might be better served by focusing on things other than Joe Wilson or Sandy Berger. We’re not chimpanzees, so we shouldn’t be distracted by–oooh, shiny!

Civic Involvement

This is a participatory government. Yes, that means you vote, but true civic duty extends beyond voting. It requires active and informed participation in all aspects of government, especially those that concern your focus. The means of fulfilling your civic duty are innumerable and can be tailored to your particular style and level of commitment.

Politics and Personalities

What’s more important to you: Rhetoric or results? A political Party or your nation? Posturing or deeds? Feeling good or doing good? Making America safer may mean divorcing yourself from the concepts of loyalty to both political parties and the personalities within those parties. This government has a two party system whether we like it or not. Third parties may act as spoilers, but they’ll never be more than that because they’re trying to beat two old pros at their own game. An individualist approach that deals with the situation as it is may be more effective than going along with a tribe. The only tribe that really matters is the one known as the United States of America. That being the case, you can pit the parties against each other and/or put them to use for you and the nation. They lend themselves to easy manipulation by those who place more importance on the fortunes of the nation rather than the fortunes of a Party.


Do you treat every story about terrorist intentions that comes down the pike with alarm? Do you automatically assume the worst possible scenario when a story about new Homeland Security initiatives or Justice Department actions are released? Are you given to filling in the holes with dire illusions of your own making? Do you take things as they are or do you try to read tea leaves? Do you let your perceptions impede your ability to properly discern the world around you? Seriousness is one of the most critical elements in making America safer. It involves more than a sober course of action, it also involves checking yourself against your own natural inclinations.

Confidence & Optimism

The last post will deal with these two elements, which have nothing to do with acting like a Peacock or thinking that everything’s just hunkey-dorey.

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